The city of Athens was under the Frankish nomination up to 1308, with the House de la Roche.
The last duke of the house, in his effort to extend the limits of his ducat towards Thessalia sought for the Catalan Company’s mercenaries’ help.
Although the last ones offered important services to the duke of Athens, he made the mistake to violate the agreement he had contracted with them.
When asked to abandon the ducat, the mercenaries denied and fought with them in battle in Copais plain, in Boeotia, were the duke was killed and his army had a dreadful defeat.
After conquering the ducat, the Catalans soon realized that they were in danger as they were surrounded from rival empires. Therefore, they agreed to join the Sicily’s king Friedrich’s Aragon House and have his second son announced as duke.
Both the duke and the Company in a dualism model held the ducat’s management.
The ducat’s management was organized according either the Spanish or the Sicilian model in Thebes.
The Greeks were as downgraded in the new ducat as during the French nomination. Moreover, the new conquerors seemed to be more oppressive than the previous ones.
As a result, the Athenians remained villains and out of civic law, no matter their economic condition or their profession.
In special cases, the Catalans gave the Athenians citizens “freedom letters” that granted them with equal rights.
Under Don Alfonso Fantrik’s government the catalane ducat of Athens was expanded and turned into a martial force.
During the same period, Piraeus, called at the time “harbour of Athens”, became the vital commercial place and as a result the Catalan merchants installed in Athens.
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